Oct 17, Colombo: A Canadian Tamil Tiger operative extradited to the United States to face charges of supporting the banned terrorist organization, Sri Lanka's Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), has pleaded guilty in Brooklyn, New York, to the charges against him.
The suspect, Piratheepan Nadarajah, 37, from Brampton, Ontario has pleaded guilty last week at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn in New York after admitting to a conspiracy to acquire anti-aircraft missiles and attempting to provide material support including sophisticated military technology to a foreign terrorist organization.
He will be sentenced on Jan. 31, 2014, the Canadian Press reported.
Nadarajah and another suspect Suresh Sriskandarajah, alleged operatives of the LTTE, were extradited from Canada and arraigned on December 27, 2012 in the United State federal court in Brooklyn, New York.
Nadarajah was charged with conspiring and attempting to acquire US$1 million worth of anti-aircraft missiles, missile launchers, and other military equipment and conspiring and attempting to provide material support to the LTTE.
According to a FBI statement Nadarajah and several co-conspirators have negotiated with an undercover FBI agent to purchase and export US$1 million worth of high-powered weapons and military equipment for the LTTE, including 20 SA-18 heat-seeking, surface-to-air, anti-aircraft missiles; 10 missile launchers; and 500 AK-47s.
Nadarajah and his associates have attempted to acquire theweapons at the direction of senior LTTE leadership in Sri Lanka, including Pottu Amman, and LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. The anti-aircraft weapons were to be used by the LTTE to shoot down Kfir aircraft used by the Sri Lankan military.
Both men were arrested in Toronto following a joint RCMP-FBI investigation called Project O-Needle in 2006. They fought extradition in Canada in December last year lost the battle when the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed the orders to extradite them to the U.S. to face charges against them.
Sriskandarajah pleaded guilty to the charges against him in July this year. He is awaiting sentencing on October 28.